5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating

October 7th, 2015 | Posted by Pacrec in StowAway in Action | Tailgating | Teams and Events - (Comments Off on 5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating)

5 Life Hacks for Stress-Free Tailgating

Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - StowAway Cargo Carrier -5

Tailgating is fun – In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees. After all, 80 percent of the U.S. population tailgates at least once a year, with many across the country participating nearly every weekend. John Sherry, a University of Notre Dame marketing professor and cultural anthropologist who conducted a two-year study of college tailgating, says, “The idea of getting out of your house and feasting and drinking somewhere else is a pretty old tradition. People eat and drink and build up community in the process. It’s one last blowout before we hunker down for winter.”

And a blowout it is! But despite the friendly faces, great food, and enthusiasm of game day, that “blowout” is also really hard work – after all it is a party, and parties don’t throw themselves. It can be stressful, draining, and a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared.

Avid tailgaters will tell you that the keys to stress-free tailgating are advanced planning, organization, and coordination. To help you make the most of game day and ensure you’re not worn out before the game even starts, we’ve pulled together five great tailgating life hacks to ensure a smooth and enjoyable tailgating experience.

  1. Even the most devoted tailgaters will forget something on occasion. If you don’t already have one, I suggest creating a checklist to be sure nothing is left behind. You can find hundreds of templates online with a simple Google search for “tailgating check list” (here’s a sample from simpletailgating.com). Once you find a list, customize it to meet your specific needs. Not only will it help you pack your rig before heading to the stadium, but you can use it to be sure everything makes it home safely at the end of the day. *Bonus life hack: Laminate your list to protect it from BBQ sauce, beer, rain, or tears (if your team is on a losing streak).
  2. If you’re in charge of the party, take time the week before to plan your menu, shopping list, and job assignments. That’s right – job assignments! While this is a party and should be loads of fun, there’s nothing wrong with recruiting your friends to help out. After all, if they want to eat your food, drink your beer and hang out at your tailgate, they can pitch in too. Assigning friends to help cook, clean, set up, tear down, and monitor beverage, ice and/or condiment levels will help alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy the tailgate experience along with everyone else.

    Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Grill - StowAway Cargo Carrier3

    Keep tailgating essentials organized in a toolbox so you can grab-and-go on game day.

  3. Keep the essentials packed and ready to go. For instance, a toolbox is a convenient way to organize and store smaller items that you know you’ll need at every single tailgate party. Keep utensils (bottle openers, tongs, cutlery, can opener, etc.) in one drawer, while storing first aid supplies (Band-Aids, pain reliever, sunscreen, etc.) or favorite spices and seasonings in another. For larger items, you can use bins (I recommend clear ones so you can see inside easily without having to take the lid off) to store kitchen items such as dishes, aluminum foil, soap, and paper towels, as well as games, blankets, seat cushions, and more. Having the necessities packed and ready to go each weekend will save so much time, you just may have a shot at landing the best parking spot at the stadium!
  4. Bring extra! No matter what it is, bring more than you think you’ll need: ice, beverages, food, chairs, blankets, etc. This will help avoid a flurry of phone calls when you realize you’re almost out of hamburger buns or (gasp!) beer. And since half the fun of tailgating is making new friends, having extra to share with your tailgating neighbors and fellow fans is a bonus!
  1. So how do you get all of this stuff to the stadium?
    Tailgating - Life Hacks - StowAway Cargo Carrier - Oregon Ducks

    Fans of the University of Oregon football team use their StowAway Cargo Carrier for all of their tailgating needs on game day.

    Invest in a StowAway Cargo Carrier, of course! Mounted directly into your vehicle’s trailer hitch, StowAway carriers provide easy, ground-level access to your gear. Quickly and easily organize and transport all of your tailgating essentials, especially those bulky items like canopies, chairs, and even your cornhole boards or ladder golf. With either 12.5 or 16 cubic feet of storage space, a StowAway Cargo Carrier nearly doubles the average SUV’s functional carrying capacity – you’ll wonder how you ever tailgated without it!

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Fans tailgate with the StowAway Hitch Grill Station at a Notre Dame game.

And for those who really want to take their tailgating to the next level, check out the StowAway Hitch Grill Station that features a Cuisinart gas grill. The SwingAway frame pivots and locks at 90° to create a safe, convenient, and easily organized kitchen/grilling space, complete with a jumbo-sized (25.5” x 18.5”) commercial-grade cutting board. And the rack provides ample room for hauling coolers and other gear too.

Yes, tailgating is hard work… But with a little advanced planning and these life hacks, it can also be one of the most enjoyable, stress-free ways to spend a weekend this fall. You’re welcome! 🙂

Ramp Up Your Game With a Hitch Mounted Grill

May 15th, 2014 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating - (Comments Off on Ramp Up Your Game With a Hitch Mounted Grill)
Ramp up your tailgating menu with the Grill Station Plus.

You got “game” with the Tailgate Grill Station Plus

I’ve spent my fair share of time in stadium parking lots, wearing my team colors, tossing footballs, and eating hot dogs, macaroni salad and potato chips. No more! Actually, I still love tailgating with my friends at football games, but the bill of fare (read: menu) has evolved exponentially with the acquisition of a Cuisinart hitch-mounted grill from StowAway.

Now “we got game” with kebabs, fajitas, stir-fry, cheesy bread, toasted buns, roasted veggies, steaks, and sautéed mushrooms. We have definitely ramped up the quality of our food and thus the whole tailgating experience. (We know that because everyone wants to party under our canopy. And I don’t think it’s the satellite-fed 54-inch flat screen.)

StowAway’s Tailgate Grill Station Plus also works great for car camping – knocking camp stoves right off the picnic table. With a Cuisinart 12,000-BTU gas grill, the grilling station offers a generous cooking surface (19.8″ x 27.8″ x 12.8″), two folding side shelves for added workspace, and a snap-on cutting board that provides a 25.5″ x 18.5″ work surface. The patented SwingAway frame is also included, which opens 180° from the rear of the vehicle, so you can “get your grill on” while still having complete and easy access to the back of your rig.

Here are my three favorite things about StowAway’s Tailgate Grill Station Plus:

1. Convenience
• Haul your grill and cooler to the game without taking up a bunch of space inside your vehicle; plus set up is a snap
• The grill swings out 180 degrees for grilling at the game, giving easy access to the back of your vehicle
• The grilling station includes a big, snap-on cutting board

2. Versatility
• Grill can easily be removed and used on your patio or elsewhere
• Frame and rack also be used to haul gear for activities other than tailgating (camping, vacations, road trips, etc.)
• Room to add a second grill if additional grill capacity is needed

3. Durability
• Heavy duty SwingAway frame, with black powder-coated finish that minimizes corrosion; Transports up to 200 pounds of gear with a 2″ hitch and 125 pounds with a 1.25″ hitch
• Stainless steel Cuisinart grill with temperature gauge for thorough cooking and twist-start ignition for easy start-up

If you already have a StowAway hitch cargo carrier, you can take off the cargo rack and put your own grill on the same frame. The heavy-duty frame and rack carry up to 200 pounds.

Tailgating, camping, or rocking the family reunion, StowAway’s Tailgate Grill Station Plus makes you the Master Griller of the Day and gives you game.

How to Tailgate in Style [Infographic]

September 21st, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating - (Comments Off on How to Tailgate in Style [Infographic])

Football season is upon us, which means millions of Americans will be packing up the grill and heading to the stadium for some pre-kickoff food and shenanigans. Modern tailgating has evolved from casual get-togethers in the team parking lot to full-blown parties complete with food, seating and games.

As sports fans prepare for this season’s round of tailgating action, the following infographic takes a look at some of the latest research on how tailgaters party in style, which goes hand-in-hand with the use of our Tailgating Grill Stations.

hitch mounted cargo carrier

Tailgating With the Tea Freaks

February 9th, 2012 | Posted by Pacrec in Tailgating - (Comments Off on Tailgating With the Tea Freaks)
McAlister's Jeep and StowAway MAX tailgating UNCvsNCState

Partying hardy at the UNC vs. NC State game

They tailgated at some of the biggest college football games of the 2011 season. Auburn vs. Clemson, Georgia vs. Ole Miss, Tennessee vs. Arkansas, North Carolina vs. North Carolina State (Civil War!) and… Holy Cow… LSU vs. Alabama –  a preview of the National Championship game (with much different results).

This past fall, McAlister’s Deli, a restaurant chain with over 300 outlets  in 23 states,  launched their inaugural “Win Our Sweet Ride” contest. Two new Jeep Wranglers were driven weekly to different ACC and SEC football games throughout the season. The “Tea Freaks” as they affectionately call themselves on their Facebook page, tailgated with the local fans, showcasing their “Sweet Rides”. Guests at all McAlister’s restaurants could enter a contest to win the Jeeps at season’s end.

And guess who was invited to tail along at all the games? Why, the StowAway MAX Hitch Cargo Carrier, natch! (Each Jeep was equipped with one). As any serious tailgater knows, the StowAway is the go-to player when it comes to transporting all your brats, buns, beverages, coolers, grills, canopies, chairs, foam fingers and other pregame paraphernalia. Who better to haul all the freight the McAlister’s folks were toting to all those games? With 16 cubic feet of storage space and a 200 pound capacity, the StowAway MAX will hold enough refreshments to last you from pregame warm-ups to post-game interviews! Plus, the special Tailgate Package  includes a 23” x 19” cutting board  for food prep and serving. No more pounding out patties on the top of that old ice chest.

StowAway MAX with OSU tailgate option

Now those are some great team colors!

While the McAlister’s gang needed to be non-partial on team support, you don’t have to! You can proudly support your favorite team or alma mater by customizing your MAX Cargo Carrier with reflectors in six different color options to match your team’s colors (orange on black looks great). Plus, there’s a flat surface on the front of the lid designed to fit a standard bumper sticker (like… Go Beavers!).

Obviously the Tea Freaks needed all of the MAX’s impressive cargo space as they road tripped from campus to campus. But If you’re a tailgater that’s just looking for extra storage for ice chests and grills, and wants a flat sturdy surface for cooking and serving, the StowAway Tailgating Station is a game winner. A rugged StowAway Hitch Cargo Rack, mounted on a convenient swingaway frame (for easy access to the rear of your vehicle, just like the MAX), comes with a 20 ½” x 25” wooden grill platform, cargo net and hitch tightener.

When the regular season ended, McAlister’s awarded the Jeeps ( StowAways included… the  extra point is good!) to two lucky winners who are destined to have many more excellent tailgating adventures in store. A new season will be coming up before you know it, so, if you want to put a “W” in your tailgating win column, insert a StowAway Hitch Cargo Carrier into your starting lineup. It just might be your MVP!